Welcome to my movie blog, containing reviews and articles. I've been writing since 2004 - with a short break during 2009.

I wish I could post more often...

...but no time.

Firstly, my afternoon last week, which went just as expected. My friends did enjoy Reservoir Dogs (thank goodness), and as predicted, Friend 3 did not like Mr Blonde at all. It was also sadistically satisfying being the only one in the room who knew about That Bit in advance (you know, my opinion on the scene has always been that the reason people get disturbed is that the music is just so fun, it makes you subconsciously join in on the wrong side. Now proved: Friend 3 loves that song, and started to sing along. Oops. Cue squeal... XD )

And then we went to see Blood Diamond at the cinema, because I felt I should take a chance on a film I assumed I wasn't going to like.

And to be honest, I didn't. It did exactly what it said on the box - pure Oscarbait, and no suprises whatsoever. I mean, there was a lot of good things about it, but nothing really special. The music was wuvvy, the atmosphere great and the acting just fantastic (Djimon Honsou and Leo de Caprio especially. Jennifer Connoly mostly just looked luminous). I took a quite a while to get into it, and I'm ashamed to say I only really perked up for the car chases and gun fights.

However, never quite managed to dodge the Default!Africa plot. Once or twice, it teetered towards really godawful cliche, but never quite fell in. Except sometimes, when the plot was painfully obvious. Hmmm, that happy family living peacefully in the idyllic village seem a little blissful. Hey, you don't imagine something nasty is going to happen to them, do you?

I'd certainly describe it as very Ed Zwick - his previous efforts, Glory and The Last Samuri were entirely in the same line. Weighty real life issues (though somewhat Hollywoodised) which makes the audience feel slightly ashamed to be white and Western (well, the white Western members of the audience in any case) generally resulting in me needing a big box of tissues before I calm down.

Considering my reaction to his other films, I was actually suprised when I didn't require kleenex - I only snuffled a bit. At the very end. Which made me feel really terrible, because I probably should have been more upset by the various atrocities in the first half.

And then the Dublin cinema trip. Our two teachers and all the older girls went to see Notes on a Scandal, which left me, two hapless friends (who later confessed they thought it would be awful and were only coming along to please me) and three guys to see Hot Fuzz.

In a word. Hilarious. I laughed so hard it hurt. I feel really guilty saying this, but I enjoyed it more than Shaun of the Dead. Well perhaps I love them equally really...Shaun was amusing, with lines that grew funny once you'd seen the movie several times and quoted it endlessly at friends. Hot Fuzz is packed with laughs. Perhaps it's because of the tribute element: like Shaun, Hot Fuzz is a love letter to genre movies - but as American action flicks are innately sillier than zombie movies, the film too was far funnier in a less-culty way.
Shaun was described as a rom-zom-com, which is a great description. It was styled like a romantic comedy - some funny bits, but at the end of the day you want everything to turn out ok. As opposed, say, to pure comedy, where the laughs outweigh concern for the characters - think the old man asking questions on the bridge in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Similarly, Hot Fuzz needs you to care about the characters and their wuvvy (if slightly...dubious) relationship. And while Nick isn't quite as likeable as Shaun, Danny is far more appealing than Ed so it balances.

It's been getting mixed reviews, which is a pity because I've started eagerly anticipating their next film already. The humour seems less sophisticated than Shaun perhaps as there's so much more of it, but even the really cheap gags (for example, a badly spelt Bill Bailey) seemed hilarious.

Lots of people have said the end drags, and to be honest I agree in principle...thought I was enjoying it so much, I'd happily have watched another few hours of them destroying things. The action sequence is too long - but is this a deliberatley post-ironic tribute to outrageously tedious endings of action flicks? I don't know...
That's pretty much all I can say about it without resorting to endless quotery and listing all the movie references (To Shaun alone, there were loads. Cornetto. Fight in bar. Video game music. Coming home drunk. Bunch of flowers. The scene where Ed proves to Shaun the Winchester customers are interesting vs the bit when Nick shows Danny how ordinary people can be a danger.Must have missed some.)

And mentioning that 15 rating was really pushing it for an 18 - surely only the comedic context allowed it to squeak under the lower certificate.

The three guys weren't very enthusiastic about it afterwards, but my two doubting buddies both thought it was great. And the rest of the group returned gushing about fantastic moving performances and "meditations on loneliness", which basically meant they had had NOWHERE NEAR as much fun as we had.

Speaking of mind is hurting...I am positive a nice Irish person called Catherine commented my blog, and asked me whether I was Irish. The reason for the headpain is that I now cannot find that comment, and am left with a knawing feeling that, perhaps, I've been dreaming up comments to salve my ego or something. And because if it's magically vanished, I want to know why. And I feel bad because I didn't get round to replying and now can't find her site. Enfuriating. Anyway, Catherine (if you exist...). Thank you for your kind words, even though I a) can't prove they existed and b) can't quite remember if they were actually kind or not. I'm going to assume they were. I actually live in the Channel Islands - a bit like that nice little place in The Wicker Man. Only with worse weather and less witchcraft. I was over there on a school history trip - it's a really nice place. And the cinema is massive compared to our little one. Thanks for commenting (if I'm not imagining it), please do so again because I'm peeved at forgetting your site.

But now, to the yearly OSCAR RANT! Pop over to Emma's blog...or Will's blog...or indeed, most movieblogs around this time, and you'll see a fantastic series of pre-Oscar predictions et al. Great idea. Here's a list of reasons why I haven't been doing something similar:

1 All the Oscar frontrunners are released right next to the event itself, to maximise the chance of winning. This means they're never in the UK in time for me to see them...

2 ...and if they are, our tiny cinema probably won't be showing them...

3 ...and if it is, it's pretty unlikely I'll want to see them anyway. To illustrate - of the five nominees for best film this year, I have seen Little Miss Sunshine and The Departed - both of which I saw on planes, and would have been unlikely to watch otherwise. I would be willing to see Babel, but I can't get desperately excited about The Queen, however much my dad raves about it, and have no interest in Letters from Iwo Jima...

4 ...and even if I've seen enough of the films so I can form an opinion on what should be winning, then why does it actually matter what anyone else thinks?!

5 ...not to mention they will invariably get it wrong. A Beautiful Mind vs Fellowship of the Ring. TITANIC vs L.A. CONFIDENTIAL*...

6 ...and who sorts these catagories anyway? Was Djimon Honsou really the supporting actor to Leo diCaprio's best actor in Blood Diamond? Surely they shared the screen more or less equally? Why was Al Pacino's Godfather nomination for supporting Marlon Brando? Cos if you ask me, it's really Michael's story and actually, the Don is really more support...

7, they usually skim over the interesting catagories in the TV coverage - not that I can actually think of any off the top of my head...

*sure, Titanic was technologically groundbreaking, and had been a mini cultural phenomenon. And I'm not saying it was a bad film - even though I'm not a big fan. Titanic had epic scope. But L.A. Confidential is just brilliant. It scores at all those little things like acting, plot and script which Titanic (let's be frank) lost behind the cinematic wow-ery. Titanic simply made more noise than a perfect mood-and-character piece...actually, it goes back to a point I made way back here. Why is Pulp Fiction regarded higher than Reservoir Dogs? Because one feels small, wheras the other has scope. L.A.C was never going to win.

To sum up, it's just a thing we do every year, just because we do it every year. I like seeing the pretty dresses, listening to the host's movie jokes, watching the this-year's-movies montages and trouncing everyone else at identifying the clips. I enjoy randomly supporting underdogs even if I havn't a) seen them or b) seen any of the competition. This year, I'm cheering on Little Miss Sunshine, the Departed and Pan's Labyrinth. I really want Mark Walhberg and really really want Abigail Breslin to get their best supportings.I'll cheer if Inconvenient Truth gets the Documentary award. In fact, if Little Miss Sunshine gets anything at all, it will totally make my week. And like Eurovision, we've devised a drinking game which is good for a laugh, without anyone actually getting plastered (because I only ever play the game with my parents. Which sounds sad, but tis fun)

This usually outweighs the downsides: I do not like having to introduce a host of different people to present the awards, or sitting through the acceptance speeches. I usually eye the cyanide during the "Award for Conspicious Merit", during which they spend 15 minutes gooing over someone I probably should have heard of. I don't like the obituary round up, because I recognise more and more names each year. And it takes fooooreeeeveeer.

Not to mention the seven problems listed above. I feel I should watch them though. Even though no one who truly loves movies gives a fig for the results.

That sounded harsh. Let me try again...if you hated a film, then it won an Oscar, you wouldn't suddenly like it. You might try watching it again in an attempt to work out what you missed first time around, but it won't significantly alter your opinions. At probably shouldn't...

I don't want or intend to watch them this year. But I probably will anyway.


Catherine said...

*emerges from the shadowy depths of your mind* Yep, I exist. :)

Catherine said...

*emerges from the shadowy depths of your mind* Yep, I exist :)

Ninquelosse said...

...but how can I be sure? XD

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